The advent of technology has brought the healthcare industry to the zenith of modernization and innovation. But the constantly rising competition in this sector calls for healthcare companies to generate situational-driven strategic insights and act with deliberate speed to gain more customers and retain the existing ones. As far as the healthcare marketers are concerned, it is high time that they identify the ongoing marketing trends in the healthcare industry, rethink underlying assumptions, and re-engineer their approaches to marketing to stay relevant in the market. Here are some marketing trends in the healthcare industry that marketers need to keep a close watch on in 2018.
Differentiating Payer-Provider Marketing Mix
In the current healthcare industry scenario, the health insurers are the providers, and the healthcare providers are the payers. In recent times, the trend of hospitals getting into the insurance business to take control of the complete patient lifecycle has been trending. There are even instances of payer-provider collaboration and joint ventures that are gaining traction around value-based care, direct primary care, digital patient communities, and chronic or behavioral care management. As far as healthcare marketers are concerned, this is often unchartered territory. Insurers regard customers as members; whereas, hospitals look at them as patients. The marketing continuum of awareness, acquisition, customer experience, and loyalty are very different for both sets of these customers. Each takes a diverse mix of brand, direct, and content marketing, as well as customized customer experiences. Marketers have to identify the right marketing mix and marketing trends to incorporate for each segment.
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Retailization of Healthcare is Here to Stay
With healthcare becoming a major financial burden for the majority of the population, people have been compelled to make cautious spending decisions. Shopping for healthcare necessities may not be the same path-to-purchase as other necessities, but for most people, it’s one of the most important buying decisions they make. They ask friends, compare products and services, read and publish reviews, price check, and quickly cast aside brand loyalty for a better deal. However, it might not be possible for everybody to make smart, value-based healthcare choices overnight. This is where marketers can play a critical role in creating reliable, understandable information and decision support tools to help consumers navigate easily through the various healthcare options available to them.
Healthcare Consumerism is coming in the Spotlight
Though the rate of more people being diagnosed with chronic conditions is shooting up with each passing year, there is a significant decline of interest in patients to stay motivated and proactively deal with their health. Popular healthcare industry players are trying hard to forge emotional relationships with consumers to motivate them to make better health decisions. For healthcare marketers, this means understanding what is important to people and what truly matters to them. Research shows that consumers’ perceptions and emotions have the most significant influence on their actions. Therefore, changing behavior takes moving away from company-centric educational-based efforts that are overloaded with clinical messaging about conditions and treatment options.
Social Media is the Ultimate Tool for Victory
Companies in the healthcare industry are creating social communities to connect, collaborate, and communicate with consumers. Like several other sectors, social media is becoming one of the top marketing trends to watch out for in healthcare as well. Therefore, as far as healthcare marketers are concerned, social media is a critical tool to extend the reach and enhance engagement. If done in the right manner, social platforms can help healthcare companies boost awareness, generate new business leads, and build more intimate and connected customer relationships. Compelling healthcare content attracts the interest of people and holds their attention around a personalized, interactive value exchange.